Last week the Court of understand Sommeliers welcomed eight brand-new members to its grasp Sommelier ranks, bringing the total to 157 in the Americas and also 247 worldwide. caught up with 6 of the new MS’s to hear their stories and also get their finest advice for the next chop of candidates.

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James Bube, MS, central regional manager, Frederick Wildman and Sons, Chicago

Once you acquire that multiple sclerosis pin, friend can capture up on podcasts while drink Champagne. In ~ least, that’s how James Bube, MS, invested his train trip residence to Chicago from St. Louis critical week. In enhancement to acting together the liaison come wholesalers in three claims for the importer Frederick Wildman and also Sons, Bube—Chicago’s sixth MS—will continue to offer on the plank of the sector group second City Sommeliers.

Attempts to pass:

Theory: 1; Service: 3; Tasting: 3


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What to be the hardest thing around the MS?

Service was my albatross. I’d been turn off the floor for more than 12 years when I took the exam. Dan Pilkey, Advanced, in ~ Maple and also Ash, and also Rachel Driver Speckan, Advanced, at City Winery—both in Chicago—were generosity in putting me with the paces and allowing me to stage and also practice in their establishments. I couldn’t have passed there is no them. 

What’s the one thing you great you’d recognized going in?

It’s addictive. Friend tell yourself, “I’ll go to xyz level,” and also then you wake up up someday awash in topographic lieu-dit maps due to the fact that you don’t desire to be the male in the team who doesn’t recognize where or what other is.

What advice would you provide an ms candidate?

For theory, Google the memory royal residence technique, or technique of loci, and work through it. Acquire the finest maps girlfriend can, and also write your theory on peak of them: Visual learning is easier for recall than various other forms. Also, be moral with yourself: If you’re ignoring a region you don’t prefer or are uninterested in, that’s where you have to be studying. Because that tasting, put in the reps and learn to recognize chemical compounds and winemaking protocols for finished wines.

How did girlfriend celebrate, and what did you drink?

By popping some 2002 Pol i get it Brut through friends in Chicago.

Rebecca Fineman, MS, sommelier, High Treason, mountain Francisco

Rebecca Fineman constantly had an interest in food and wine however never assumed it would go beyond dinners v friends. However after studying music and also anthropology, safety a Fulbright year in southern Korea, and also attending graduate institution for ethnomusicology, she moved to brand-new York City, where she worked in posting by day and also eked the end her rental by functioning at a restaurant. Soon she abandoned literary pursuits for food and also wine. When a mentor said she acquire her sommelier certification, she relied on her academic background to propel she and, in a mere five months, happen the progressed exam. Five years later on she became the world’s 25th female master Sommelier.

In enhancement to being a sommelier at san Francisco’s High Treason, Fineman, in addition to her husband, kris Gaither (who is likewise working on his MS), to plan to open a wine-centric restaurant and also retail space, called Ungrafted, in mountain Francisco in 2018.

Attempts come pass:

Theory: 1; Service: 3; Tasting: 2

What to be the hardest thing around the MS?

I was lucky due to the fact that my husband is additionally an ms candidate—in fact, us met at the advanced exam in 2012. Together a result, he an extremely much understands the quantity of time that needs to enter studying.

I had a baby late last year; she was not as understanding. V her, I had to find time to examine in the crack of the day that could otherwise have actually gone toward sitting in one armchair and also relaxing.

What advice would certainly you provide an multiple sclerosis candidate?

First, make certain you aren’t act this alone. Anyone is quick to join a tasting group, but you need a strong base of theory to be successful at this level. Anyone brings various information and different interpretations that the info to the table. It’s extremely valuable to hear concerns asked in ways that you can not have actually asked them. Second, remember the your life is more important than the exam. Don’t hole you yourself up and also block out everyone else. Invest time with your family, spend time on yourself, and allow yourself to reap things exterior the people of wine. Your people is bigger 보다 this exam. As soon as you psychic that, it’s a entirety lot much less stressful.

How did you celebrate, and what did friend drink?

I had my infant in one arm, a glass that Krug Champagne in the other, and also my husband by mine side. It was perfect. 

Aaron Patrick, MS, beverage director, The club at Wingtip, mountain Francisco

In the hours after that passed, Aaron Patrick’s phone started blowing up and has not stopped. The received much more than 200 texts. “I didn’t even know the was possible,” states Patrick, who thrived up in Arizona however moved to mountain Francisco, native Scottsdale, after multiple sclerosis Ian Coble told that he’d need to live in a bigger city. As soon as he take it the job as beverage director because that the members-only society Wingtip, that told the owner he to be going to it is in a master Sommelier part day, by hook or by crook, and also built a clause right into his contract to carry out him financial incentives come stay once that happened.

Attempts come pass:

Theory: 2; Service: 3; Tasting: 2

Why did you decision to execute the MS?

At 19, I got into wine since 1, i’m Irish and also I choose alcohol, and 2, I believed it would be a good career path. In ~ 21, I gained my introduce sommelier certification and also that’s once I really fell in love. I obtained into it because that the not correct reasons, however in the end wine is my life and also I important love it. 

What to be the hardest thing around the MS?

There is not an easy part. The lot of time you have to commit to it, the quantity of time you need to be far from family… it’s really complicated to carry out this there is no a an extremely supportive spouse. Ns think my wife is happy the she deserve to have she dining room back. Because that the last 6 years it’s been plastered through vintage charts, maps, photos of brand … you name it, I’ve had actually it on the wall.

What advice would certainly you give an ms candidate?

Don’t stop. Civilization go through cycles where they take it breaks—they take 6 months off. At this level, friend cannot perform that; you can’t not carry out wine. It’s it s okay to take it a pair of mainly off, but if you passionate, you need to keep going. And also I think one of the most important things because that candidates is to put themselves about people that are better than they are. 

How did friend celebrate, and also what did you drink?

It still there is no sunk in. A friend opened up a bottle of 1850 Madeira for me critical night, and also it still hasn’t sunk in.

I nothing think we’re enabled to tell friend what us drank at the brand-new Masters’ lunch, but I to be drinking a many Krug in ~ the Krug reception, and I also had a shooting of Fernet-Branca. Ns think this year is going to be an ext celebrating. 

I’m an extremely excited currently to be able to spend time through my wife and son. We’re taking a holidays to England, Scotland, and also Ireland. We’ll be drink a most beer and also whisky.

Jackson Rohrbaugh, MS, assistant wine director, Canlis, Seattle

Over the past couple of years, Rohrbaugh offered as a leader of sorts among the candidate circle on the West Coast. He arranged tastings that carried in MS’s native the area—including Joseph Linder, Greg Harrington, thomas Price, and Shayn Bjornholm—and asked them to assist candidates learn to taste better. In ~ one point, number of candidates from san Francisco even flew to Seattle to to visit a meeting of Rohrbaugh’s group.

Becoming Washington State’s eighth understand Sommelier can have been reward enough, however Rohrbaugh’s employer, Canlis, double down: “There’s this amazing tradition at Canlis—they let friend pick any type of wine off the list that you want to drink,” says Rohrbaugh, who made decision a DRC. “It’s really nice the them.”

Attempts to pass:

Theory: 2; Service: 1; Tasting: 2

Why walk you decision to perform the MS?

Part that it because that me is the there’s a traditional of excellence out there, and also I want to push myself until I reach the standard. Yes sir a lot come be stated for setting standards high because that yourself and also being challenged and also growing in that. I’m no going to be stagnant. I desire to uncover ways to grow and learn.

What to be the hardest thing around the MS?

The preparation. Yes, if you collection the time aside, you have the right to do it. However you have to sacrifice. You have to take time away from her family, from hobbies, from hanging out v friends. You need to prioritize it above everything. Friendships periodically go the end the window, at the very least for a while.

On the exam itself, managing nerves. For me, it was figuring out how I can breathe to help me control stress in the moment. (Hint: one breathing.)

What’s the one point you great you’d well-known going in?

I knew what i was obtaining into due to the fact that you don’t begin Intro and think, “I’m studying for MS.” i wasn’t reasoning MS until I passed Certified. You need to kind of shoot because that MS in order to happen the progressed exam well. You need to push you yourself harder 보다 what the exam might be. 

Jonathan Ross, MS, head sommelier, The Lucas Group, Melbourne, Australia

Just eight month after relocating to Australia, Jonathan Ross reverted stateside to knife his MS. Before that, Ross live in new York City yet felt an advice to be closer to a thriving wine manufacturing area. Currently he’s 45 minutes from a top region. What’s next for Ross, who serves together the head somm because that The Lucas Group, which has actually six restaurants in Melbourne? part harvest work and some hand-operated experience, Ross says. With whatever he’s learned and also been exposed to while examining for his MS, Ross claims he has actually an itch to acquire his hand dirty.

Attempts come pass:

Theory: 4; Service: 2; Tasting: 3

What was the hardest thing around the MS?

Myself. My own psychological blocks. Self-doubt. Anxiety. Then, most likely really expertise what direction to go in with preparation; those essential and what’s ancillary. The mental state is the hardest point to overcome, and I think that’s true for a many people. For me, trusting in tasting and myself was really difficult. 

What advice would certainly you give an ms candidate?

Embrace the assistance groups, the families, and the people about you. Those will get you end the hill, not the extra hour of theory practice however the amount of love you give and also receive.

How did girlfriend celebrate, and what did you drink?

First, with a many of great wine that the Court of grasp Sommeliers and Guild Somm carried to the lunch, and also by meeting a new extended family. I haven’t drunk “the thing” i have planned to celebrate with yet. Ns don’t understand what the is, yet I’ll know what the is when it happens. 

David Yoshida, MS, MDiv, Partner and Wine Buyer, Pollux Wine; California department of Corrections; Berkeley

This may cause a double take—a chaplain becomes a understand Sommelier—but last week David Yoshida ended up being the an initial MS to additionally hold a understand of great degree. Yoshida’s interest in wine was piqued during graduate school, when he worked at the college student bar. While there, he additionally taught alcohol classes, which helped subsidize his own studies: He stayed one week front of his students and didn’t have to pay because that wine samples due to the fact that he to be ordering castle for class anyway.

Today, Yoshida promotes digital branding for tiny California wineries via Pollux Wine and serves together a chaplain at a high-security prison within the California correctional system.

Attempts come pass:

Theory: 2; Service: 2; Tasting: 3

What to be the hardest thing about the MS?

Managing a life roughly the test was the thing that required the many sacrifice. That’s together much about budget together your relationships external the exam.

Service was a struggle, back there room a most carryover skills between various professions, and also service and also hospitality expand to plenty of different professions. Definitely being a hospital chaplain in a prior role helped through service. As a chaplain, you walk right into a hospital room and also have to figure out an extremely quickly that is there—family, patient, doctors—and what their requirements are. Climate you have a very little amount that time to help them make an interpretation out of the situation. It’s not too various at a table. 

What advice would you provide an multiple sclerosis candidate?

I’d encourage world to think carefully about how much they are willing to put aside for this exam. It determines wherein you deserve to live, exactly how much you deserve to pay because that rent—because you’re spending so much money top top wine. It way you’ll be living in a major market, to have actually other world to examine with. If your house is in a great little midwestern city, fine I’m sorry, but you’re walking to have to move. That’s yes, really hard. 

How did you celebrate, and also what did girlfriend drink?

There was a brief luncheon. The masters were an extremely generous. The way they warmly welcomed us really drove home why they room the top of the hospitality business.

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Then I had a pair of buds in the airport—it’s St. Louis, after all—with some other candidates. I hadn’t had actually a beer in a year; it’s not on the exam.

When she’s not writing around beverage, travel, or monster science, Julie H. Case can be found deep in America’s forests, foraging because that mushrooms.